A STAR IS BORN (15)
A STAR IS BORN (15)
Run time: 135 mins
Director: Bradley Cooper
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Andrew Dice Clay, Dave Chappelle, Sam Elliott, Rafi Gavron
Synopsis: Seasoned musician Jackson Maine discovers — and falls in love with — struggling artist Ally. She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer until Jackson coaxes her into the spotlight. But even as Ally’s career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down, as Jackson fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons.
In this new take on the Hollywood classic tragic love story, actor Bradley Cooper [American Sniper (2014), American Hustle (2013), Silver Linings Playbook (2012)] makes his directorial debut, as well as taking the leading male role. Multiple award-winning, Oscar-nominated, music superstar Lady Gaga appears in her first lead role, and together the two of them are filmic dynamite.
Cooper plays veteran country rock musician Jackson Maine, who discovers the talented but struggling bar singer Ally (the mesmerising Lady Gaga), in this glossy update of the Hollywood classic, which displays boundless talent, a beautiful soundtrack, dazzling cinematography and editing, and sizzling chemistry between the two leads.
Altogether this is fourth version of Star – the original Wellman/Conway1937 film (starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March); the 1954 George Cukor version (starring Judy Garland and James Mason) and Frank Pierson’s 1976 film (starring Barbra Streisand from and Kris Kristofferson). Nevertheless, its themes remain all too relevant, even as the decades change.
The screenplay, by Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper and Will Fetters (largely based on the 1937 story from William Wellman and Robert Carson) traces in moving detail the growth of the love affair between the two leads, as her star rises while his fades. Faultless support comes from an outstanding ensemble cast, headed by controversial US comedian Andrew Dice Clay as Ally’s father and with a moving performance from the great, gravel-voiced Sam Elliot [The Big Lebowski (1998), The Hero (2017)] as Jackson’s manager brother.
With its charismatic leads, its skillful direction and editing, its convincing portrayal of the music world and its affecting love story, A Star Is Born proves that a remake can be worthwhile – and a reminder that some stories can always be retold.
Images courtesy of WARNER BROS UK